Fr. Gary Hoover, O.S.B., 58, was elected the 7th abbot of St. Andrew Abbey in Cleveland on Wednesday morning, August 6, 2014 during an election held at the monastery which is located at 10510 Buckeye Road on the southeast side of Cleveland. Abbot Hugh Anderson, O.S.B., the abbot president of the American-Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine monasteries presided over the election.
Abbot Gary assumed immediate jurisdiction over the community of 30 monks that sponsors Benedictine High School on the same campus. Monks from the abbey staff Assumption Parish in Broadview Heights, Ohio and the monastic community also sponsors Loyola Retreat House in Clinton, Ohio. The Benedictine monks came to Cleveland in 1922 from St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle, Illinois. Other apostolic works of Saint Andrew Abbey include weekend parish assistance in the diocese of Cleveland and maintaining the Slovak Cultural Institute located at the abbey.
Abbot Gary is the son of Ray and Dorothy Hoover of Garfield Heights. He has one brother Mark of Bay Village. His mother worked as the main office secretary at Benedictine High School in the 1950’s. He attended Elmwood Elementary School in Garfield Heights and graduated from Benedictine High School in 1974. He professed vows as a Benedictine monk in 1977 and was ordained a priest in 1983. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from John Carroll University in 1979 and a master’s degree in Non-Profit Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame in 1984.
Joining the faculty of Benedictine High School in 1980, he has taught theology and sociology. From 1989 – 1994 he served as treasurer of Saint Andrew Abbey. In 1996 he assumed the duties of school chaplain, a position that later developed under the title of Director of Spiritual Life. For 18 years he has ministered to Benedictine athletic teams and worked extensively with the student retreat program. During the last two decades he has also assisted on weekends at St. Ambrose and St. Colette’s Parishes in Brunswick, Ohio.
He was appointed prior, or second superior, of Saint Andrew Abbey in 2008 by former Abbot Christopher Schwartz, O.S.B. In July of 2013, he was named administrator of the monastic community following the resignation of Abbot Christopher for health reasons. Abbot Gary will be blessed by the bishop in a special Mass at a later date.